Spec for spec, the Nokia 6.1 is the phone we'd recommend first. It has a higher-quality display, more RAM, a surprisingly premium design, and is much more likely to get software updates down the road. With that said, if you rely on Sprint or Verizon as your carrier, the Moto G7 Play is the default choice.
What the Nokia 6.1 does better
When it comes to the Nokia 6.1 vs. the Moto G7 Play, there are a few things that Nokia does better to earn our overall recommendation between the two.
|Nokia 6.1||Moto G7 Play|
|Operating System||Android 9 Pie
|Android 9 Pie|
1920 x 1080
1512 x 720
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 630||Qualcomm Snapdragon 632|
Expandable up to 256GB
Expandable up to 1TB
|Battery||3,000 mAh||3,000 mAh|
18W fast charging
10W fast charging
|3.5mm Headphone Jack||✔️||✔️|
Starting first with its design, the Nokia 6.1 feels considerably more premium. It's made out of 6000 Series aluminum and features a two-tone black and copper aesthetic. It's sleek, sturdy, and feels much more substantial in the hand compared to the Moto G7 Play's plastic construction.
The Nokia 6.1 handily beats the Moto G7 Play when it comes to screen resolution, RAM, and NFC.
The bezels surrounding the Nokia 6.1 are a clear reminder that the phone was released in early 2018, but the actual screen itself is better to look at that the G7 Play's. Both phones use LCD panels, but the Nokia 6.1 has a higher resolution at 1920x1080 for a genuine Full HD experience. The 16:9 aspect ratio does look a little odd by 2019 standards, but it's far from a deal breaker.
Feature-wise, the Nokia 6.1 also benefits from an extra 1GB of RAM and an NFC chip that enables you to use your phone for contactless payments via Google Pay.
Perhaps even more important, the Nokia 6.1 is part of Google's Android One program. This means it's guaranteed to receive software updates and security patches in a timely manner, and when compared to the Moto G7 Play and Motorola's notoriously bad update policy, that's a big win.
Why the Moto G7 Play is still worth considering
All of that should make it pretty clear why we prefer the Nokia 6.1 over the Moto G7 Play, and while that's true, there is one big reason why you should still buy Motorola's option — carrier compatibility.
Where the Nokia 6.1 only supports GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile, the Moto G7 Play works on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. There are a lot of unlocked phones like the Nokia 6.1 that are only compatible with GSM carriers, so it's great that Motorola supports everyone.
The Moto G7 Play also gets some points for its water-repellent nano-coating, fewer bezels surrounding its display, greater expandable storage, and longer battery life thanks to the 720p screen, but if you're on AT&T or T-Mobile, the Nokia 6.1 still offers a more complete package.
Worth the extra money
A phone that punches above its price tag.
The Nokia 6.1 may not have the most modern design out there, but for the price, it still delivers a really great user experience. The display looks good, performance is more than adequate, and the clean Android One software package is fantastic. We also love the inclusion of NFC for Google Pay and fast charging speeds.
Supports more carriers
The default choice if you use Sprint or Verizon.
The Moto G7 Play looks like it belongs in 2019 with its notched 19:9 display, but when you start to take a look at its RAM and screen resolution, it shows its weaknesses compared to the Nokia 6.1. With that said, the G7 Play is the only one that works on all major U.S. carriers — including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
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